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Stretch verses Freezing before exercise

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You are on a roll...3 days in a row of intense workouts!!! That muscle soreness and stiffness is really adding up. How about some extra time dedicated to warming up and stretching before the next workout? Not so fast! Maybe you may be better served with a nice cold Whole Body Cryotherapy session instead. Now don't get us wrong...Stretching is fantastic! Opening up tight areas of the body are so important to develop proper movement patterns and improve our range of motion. However, your pre workout/exercise related activity may be hindering your performance in the gym.

As it turns out, static stretching may be reducing your body's ability to hit that PR(personal record) on your one rep max squat, or other compound movement. Recent studies conclude that PSS(Passive Static Stretching) actually reduces strength output and may increase joint instability when done prior to exercise activity(Gergeley,2013).

You have probably heard it from us before if you visit regularly. Many times, we actually recommend that you do your Cryotherapy prior to that workout. While this is still seemingly counterintuitive to many who think we are crazy to suggest getting cold prior to exercise, it actually may be better for you than that old stretching routine you do. WBC(Whole Body Cryotherapy) stimulates the same vascular response as actual cold water(ice) therapy with one MAJOR difference. WBC does not freeze the underlying muscle tissue during your 3 minute max exposure period. You get all the benefits from the physiological response of cold exposure; endorphins, metabolic increase and pain relief and you can work out immediately afterwards. "Recent studies show the anti-inflammatory, anti-analgesic, and anti-oxidant effects of this therapy by highlighting the underlying physiological responses. In addition to its therapeutic effects, whole-body cryotherapy has been demonstrated to be a preventive strategy against the deleterious effects of exercise-induced inflammation and soreness"(Lombardi, Ziemann, & Banfi 2017).

Bottom line...save the mobility and stretching for your recovery days...Harness the power of cold before your workout.

Sources:

Lombardi, G., Ziemann, E., & Banfi, G. (2017, May 02). Whole-Body Cryotherapy in Athletes: From Therapy to Stimulation. An Updated Review of the Literature. Retrieved December 04, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28512432

Gergley, J. C. (2013, April). Acute effect of passive static stretching on lower-body strength in moderately trained men. Retrieved December 04, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22692125